20170905

Author Jari Ehrnrooth has written a hostile and offensive text: “Pahuuden kieltäminen ei auta” (Denying evil doesn’t help) and got it published through YLE, our national broadcasting company. The text is using the Turku attacks to target muslims and other religious groups. He claims that the attack in Turku was executed using “Isis-style knife handling” and that “islam is still an authoritarian and expansive world religion, which strictest forms include appalling amounts of mental submission, physical violence and murder”. He continues to speculate about a “righteous terrorist-mother, kissing her little-jihadist, who is send to the daycare center on a be-a-hero-for-a-day event wearing a fake-bomb-vest around his chest – As is happening in Gaza”.

I send a complaint to YLE which is responsible for publishing the text. Ehrnrooth holds the title of adjunct professor in the universities of Turku and Helsinki (he signed his text highlighting the title). I wrote to Thomas Wilhelmsson the chancellor of Hki Uni. and Professor of Cultural History Marjo Kaartinen in Turku, asking them to distance their universities and departments from Ehrnrooth. I got a sympathetic reply but I was explained that adjunct professor is a only a title and that the person is not employed by the university. The message also underlined the autonomy and right to freedom of speech of their researches. This was a weak argument. There is no “free speech” in relations others are targeted based on their religion. #ॐ

Send my Dude mixer back to Brno. Included a short letter explaining the problem and a postscriptum: “Ps. My favourite Czech performance artist is Jiří Kovanda. I’ve worked for an old Finnish lady Outi Heiskanen who had performed with a Czech group called Crusaders’ School of Pure Humour Without Joke in the 70ties. I own a hobby-anvil made from a tram-rail (made in and bought from Prague) and an axe manufactured in “Czechoslovakia”. I’ve visited Brno once, only passed through. Here is a video of me making macho-coffee in Prague 2009.”

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“Does ‘art audience’ today really only mean people who have an (economic) interest in the art world?” asks Elvia Wilk on Spike magazine. I concur with her thinking but have to argue that she didn’t dig deep enough. Reaching vanilla-art-audiences is common for projects which reject institutional protection and work against status quo (Unfortunately result from such encounters are seldom fruitful). The text makes an interesting observation on how artist deploy non-artist friends as resources:  “[…] if you hang out around art people long enough eventually you develop a taste for semi-mutually-exploitative collaboration.”. These processes are evident in the practice of artists like Outi Heiskanen and particularly her involvement with the Record Singers group and the “Bellinin akatemia”. Both group were dependent on non-artist collaborators.

Pietari shared a neat text: “Debt, neoliberalism and crisis: interview with Maurizio Lazzarato on the indebted condition” by Magnus Paulsen Hansen and Mathieu Charbonneau. In the article Maurizio Lazzarato discusses how the 2007–2008 crisis has influenced creditors and how tax-havens force debt to the working class:

“The power of debt in neoliberalism represents a highly efficient mechanism of control and capture, more efficient than the modes of resistance put in place by the workers’ movement. While the latter still focuses on dynamics located within the productive space, power is now exerted on a broader social scale. Hence, there is an asymmetry between capital and the forms of resistance.” “In reality, there is no crisis from the point of view of creditors as they are currently operating a second great appropriation by virtue of capturing the welfare state’s social wealth. […] the principle of redistribution has been preserved, but the direction of redistribution has been inverted.”

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I became a sole trader in 2011 when I was working regularly for Outi Heiskanen. She didn’t want to be defined as “an employer” in her tax reports (which is very costly in Finland) and at the time becoming an entrepreneur felt like fun idea… I was active in building exhibitions for various parties and involved in serious art transportation ventures. We even talked about buying a van with a friend. Becoming an entrepreneur was a serious joke. The status has enabled me to discuss economics more convincingly. As an entrepreneur I’m a subject in economics and my critique of capitalism is more founded and more personal. Becoming an entrepreneur was an accelerationist effort, which culminated my involvement with Ore.e Refineries.

Sending bills is still fun but every year I regret not setting up a co-operative instead. Today my grief is related to sole trader taxation regulations when billing cities and municipalities.

As a sole trader I’m responsible for organizing my own pension. If earn more than 8000€ a year as an entrepreneur, I’m legally obligated to join a pension trust and to pay around 100€ a month in pension insurance premiums. The minimum “YEL-insurance” I’d have to pay a year is 1200€, which is too much for me (and many other sole traders working in the culture sector). This is why I don’t send more than 8000€ worth of bills a year. There are various very simple and legal tricks to do this. During the fall I negotiate that I can send my bill the next year and for bigger gigs I setup an temporary employer statuses with the organizations that hire me. For the past four years I’ve only send out bills for small 200-400€ odd jobs.

As a result I haven’t payed any pension fees. This is not because I wouldn’t want to… It’s just too expensive and as a part of my income comes from artist grants I dream that I’ll personally get an artist pension for myself (If I manage to survive as an artist for the next 33 years).

The government needs new forms of income, so that it can afford for the baby boom generation’s pensions. There are various aggressive schemes at work which skim funds for pensions from every possible monetary transaction. Legislation for small scale business is quite unfair. “By law, entrepreneurs under the age of 53 are required to pay 23.7 percent of their earnings in pension insurance, while salaried workers contribute just over five percent.” YLE explains in a 2015 article.

I wrote about the Record Singers group for an Artsi-museum related book. The writing fee was decent but as the museum is run by the municipality there is a cunning scheme in legislation, which the government will use to deduct a “pension” from my writer’s fee (More on the scheme in Finnish). This is saddening. I made the text almost for free. I don’t regret making it. I did a good job.

I’m not bitter about anything but I think that the baby boomers generation should have spend their salaries more smartly. Additional funds for pensions should be harvested by disallowing (and re-distributing) pensions that are over 2 300€/month (Statistics on pensions in Finland found here). I hate the feeling that a petitioner makes more money than I do and that young forced-entrepreneurs are paying for their second cars, their trips to Thailand and the renovation of their summer houses (which remain empty most of the year and none from my generation will be able to visit as we can’t afford the gas money).

[Fi | En] Esittelyssä Bellinin Akatemian tuore dosentti! | Presenting the New Adjunct Professor of Bellini’s Academy!

After a long discussion we’ve agreed that I’ll assume a position as an Adjunct Professor in Bellini’s Academy. We haven’t set a duration for the work and I’ve yet to accept any teaching. The title is anyway fancy and a nice gesture to acknowledge the quality of my work. As I except my first students and start researching in the Academias framework I’ll learn how the title really tastes like.

Keskustelun päätteeksi olemme sopineet, että vastaanotan dosentuurin Bellinin Akatemiasta. Dosentuurin kestosta ei erikseen vielä keskusteltu enkä ole vielä vastaanottanut opetustehtäviä. Titteli on kuitenkin hieno ja mukava osoitus työn laadusta. Katsotaan miltä se maistuu kunhan vastaanotan ensimmäisiä opetustehtäviä ja käyn tutkimustyöhön.

[En] Review: ⌀20cm Praxinoscope by Hemisferium

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I got the opportunity to play with early cinema technology targeted for the victorian age markets. The contraption is called a Praxinoscope. Our device was bought online. It’s made to look as it’s old in hopes of appealing to vintage-fans. But the frame is plastic. The device was build in Spain by a company called Hemisferium.

Outi Heiskanen has contracted me to assist in the construction of “primitive moving image technologies”. We bought this device as we couldn’t find any decent tutorials on how to build one ourselves. It’ll be pimped (or we’ll build a new device based on the model) if this technology will be used in her art exhibitions etc. A couple of years back we started working on “Tibetan Candle Turbine” technologies and since this I’ve experimented with a variety of low-tech image projection techniques. A highlight of which was the discovery of parabolic mirror projections (which Paula L. now owns).

For the praxinoscope tests we compressed the “Starswing” animation we made with Outi into 12 frames. The outer rim of the Hemisferium praxinoscope is ⌀20cm so the animation stripes which it uses need to be ~61cm long. This is nice as a 12 frame animation may be fitted on a A4 paper. A A4 print can compress 1sek of animation!! If the prints are made in 300dpi then it could be called a HD moving image screen. The bit rate is high. The printed strips need to be cut from the sheet and glued together.

The quality of the Hemisferium praxinoscope mirrors is shitty. They are made from plastic which add to bad luminosity. The “mirrors” are bend and distort the images too. They are tinted brown to add vintage appeal which is annoying. The device came pre-assembled and there are a lot of problems.. The axis is tilted.. The frame is wiggly. It’s a shitty piece of equipment but it works for testing. There are no labels on the device and it cannot be disassembled without braking the frame. So I made a simple 3d model of the device which can be used to check the measurements incase you want to build one your self. Here are some measurements:

Diameter of outer-rim 205mm. Inner-rim ~100mm.
12 x Mirrors ~28mmX70mm.
The animation sheet is 610mm long and 45mm high.
12 images have 50mm of distance from each other.
Now that we have tested the system we’ll make better prints of the animation (ink was low) and possibly build a more advanced praxinoscope with real mirros etc. Let’s make GIF animations tangible!